Carbonite Promotes New Channel Chief With Plans To Integrate Double-Take, Expand Programs

Cloud-based data protection technology developer Carbonite has promoted a relatively new executive to head its channel program.

Jon Whitlock, who joined Carbonite in December as VP of channel marketing, this week was elevated to VP of channel sales and marketing, replacing Jessica Couto, who has left the company.

This is the second big shake-up in Carbonite's executive ranks this year. In January, Carbonite combined its traditional Carbonite and its EVault sales teams under the leadership of Paul Mellinger, resulting in the departure of the company's original sales leader, Chris Doggett.

[Related: Carbonite Acquires Double-Take In Bold Move To Add High Availability, Data Migration To Its Data Protection Line]

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Couto was at Carbonite just over a year, having joined the company in December of 2015 after managing channels at Waltham, Mass.-based Bit9. Whitlock told CRN that he is excited for her as she moves on to other opportunities, but declined to discuss those opportunities or other details of her departure.

Whitlock joined Carbonite in December after a four-plus-year run as a channel chief at Woburn, Mass.-based security firm Kaspersky Labs.

Mellinger, who joined Carbonite with its December 2015 acquisition of EVault from Seagate, integrated Carbonite's and EVault's sales and channel activities. Whitlock said he would play a role in integrating the sales and channel activities of Double-Take, which Carbonite acquired in January.

"EVault and Carbonite now has a single channel program," he said. "The Double-Take acquisition just happened, and we'll be working over the next couple months to finalize the program."

Bringing the various channel programs together is a key goal, Whitlock said.

"We had two big acquisitions in EVault and Double-Take," he said. "Our partner community, as a whole, is changing. An effective partner program is a unified one. It's important to treat partners in a consistent manner. I was brought in to meld the partner program together based on changes going on today, and on possible changes in the future."

The appointment of Whitlock to handle Carbonite's channels has given at least one solution provider cause to consider signing with the company.

Chuck Iten, western regional director at Productive, a Minneapolis-based service provider, said his company has looked at Carbonite in the past, but that vendor's focus on smaller businesses did not fit with Productive's midsized business customers.

Whitlock's experience while at Kaspersky, however, impressed Iten, and is making him take a second look at Carbonite.

"Jon did such a great job at Kaspersky," he said. "Kaspersky had a really tight marketing program, and did a lot to put partners first. Jon's promotion at Carbonite means Carbonite now really cares about the channel."

Ed Tatsch, president at ETS Networks, an Arden, N.C.-based solution provider, is another channel partner giving Carbonite a second glance as it continues to mature its channel program.

Tatsch told CRN that his company is excited about Carbonite's recent acquisition of Double-Take as a way to provide better disaster recovery services, which is an area where Carbonite had been relatively weak in the past.

Bringing in a new channel chief shows that Carbonite is focused on building its channel, Tatsch said. "It sounds exactly what needs to be done," he said. "I'm pleased to hear it."

Whitlock said Carbonite has so far this year moved to increase partner communications via regular newsletters, web-based meetings, and technical meetings, and that more changes are planned.

Carbonite plans to expand the opportunities provided by the company's incentive program, he said. He also plans to provide more programmatic opportunities for partners to do more with the company, including through-partner marketing activities, and will increase the alignment between the company's sales teams and partners, he said.